Microsoft teases the first-ever “stream-to-win” option built into Xbox

Enlarge / The McLaren Senna, the cover car for "Forza Horizon 4," is unveiled at the Mixer booth at E3 2018 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles. (credit: Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

LOS ANGELES—Microsoft's presence at this month's E3 had its share of Xbox surprises, but a new annual Forza racing installment wasn't one of them. Forza Horizon 4, with its off-road London setting, had already leaked ahead of the official mid-June announcement, and we didn't learn many more surprises during a behind-closed-doors meeting with the game's developers at Playground Games.

One exception, however, got lost during the E3 hubbub: a blink-and-you'll-miss-it confirmation of a first in the booming world of game streaming. It's a subtle thing, which we're dubbing "stream-to-win," and it sees Microsoft take its boldest step in battling the behemoth service Twitch.

New Microsoft rewards

When describing upcoming features in this October's Forza Horizon 4, Playground Games art director Benjamin Penrose reminded us that Forza games have typically included ways to "progress" outside of standard races. Horizon 4's in-game currency can be used to unlock new cars and features in the game, and Penrose said that players can "progress in the game just by painting, or tuning, or streaming your gameplay on Mixer."

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